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Creamy, rich squares of this Easy Peanut Butter Fudge recipe are pretty much impossible to resist! It has that classic soft fudge texture and is the perfect treat for sharing all year long, but especially around the holidays!
If you love peanut butter and like this fudge recipe, you might also want to check out my Old-Fashioned Homemade Peanut Brittle that has dozens of rave reviews, or these Frosted Peanut Butter Blondies!
This summer we went to Mackinac Island, Michigan which is famous for their incredible and numerous fudge shops. I basically tried every flavor I could get my hands on while we were there because I love the stuff! Really, really good fudge has a wonderful texture to bite into, and then it just melts in your mouth.
Peanut butter fudge was one of the flavors that surprised me, mostly because I'm typically not the biggest fan of peanut butter unless there is some kind of chocolate involved as well. But there is something about peanut butter fudge that is bigger than it's simple parts.
It's so, so good all on its own without anything else to dress it up! Of course, I'm still tempted to make all sorts of variations, so I'll give a bunch of ideas below. But when I was recipe testing I really wanted to focus just on the peanut butter fudge base itself.
I actually made numerous batches of peanut butter fudge to figure out which approach I really liked best. There is the approach of using peanut butter chips and sweetened condensed milk that you melt together in the microwave to make fudge. And I tried making peanut butter fudge with marshmallow cream (or fluff - whatever you want to call it) when I was recipe testing.
While those approaches are definitely tasty, everyone in my family strongly and adamantly agreed that they preferred the batch of peanut butter fudge made the old-fashioned way with plenty of peanut butter, butter, and sugar cooked in a saucepan on the stovetop. The marshmallow fluff approach was our runner up, but it is a bit sweeter and the peanut butter flavor is muted somewhat by the marshmallow, which also makes the fudge a bit fluffier and less fudge-like.
I mean, fudge is still fudge, and they were all delicious, but the recipe I'm sharing today is for our favorite, old-fashioned fudge that won our hearts with it's classic fudge texture and perfect balance of peanut butter flavor and sweetness. I think you're going to love it too!
What You'll Need
There are just SIX ingredients in this peanut butter fudge recipe and you probably already have everything you need in your pantry! No need to make an extra trip to the store for a jar of marshmallow fluff!
- Sugar: Two kinds are used in this peanut butter fudge recipe: light brown sugar and powdered sugar.
- Butter: Salted butter gives the best flavor and makes the best fudge.
- Milk: Whole milk works best for most recipes, but you could use something with a lower fat content (I have even used skim) and still have the fudge turn out well.
- Peanut Butter: Don't use a "natural" peanut butter that has oils that you need to stir together before using. For fudge, you want a creamy, smooth peanut butter like Jif or Skippy.
- Vanilla Extract: I love using my homemade vanilla extract in this fudge!
How to Make Peanut Butter Fudge
- Prep: Line an 8x8-inch pan with a parchment paper or aluminum foil sling for easy removal and cutting once the fudge is set. If using aluminum foil, be sure to butter it so the fudge will come off easily.
- Cook: Combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring frequently until the brown sugar and butter dissolve and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Mix: Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar to a large, heat-safe bowl, then pour the hot peanut butter mixture over it. Beat together with a hand mixer until combined and there are no lumps of powdered sugar remaining, then transfer the fudge to the prepared pan.
- Set & slice: Let set at room temperature for about 3 hours until set up before slicing into squares.
Make-ahead and Storage Instructions
- Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Fudge doesn't have to be refrigerated, but it will dry out if left exposed to even in an airtight container I like to wrap my cut fudge with plastic wrap directly on it.
- Fudge freezes beautifully! Just wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, then again in foil to protect and it will keep for about 2 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter before serving.
Fudge tips and troubleshooting
If your fudge comes out grainy or gritty, it's because the sugar didn't completely dissolve when cooking it. Try cooking it a little longer at a slow temperature and stirring less to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. Stirring too much can actually sometimes be a problem when making fudge because it can cause the sugar to crystallize after dissolving.
This fudge, like most fudge, will set at room temperature in about 2-4 hours. You can usually speed up the process by sticking it in the fridge, but sometimes that can affect the texture of the fudge so I think it's best to let it set up at room temperature.
Mix-ins & Variations
- Crunchy Peanut Butter Fudge: Add chopped peanuts or sprinkle them on top for some extra crunch! I haven't tested it this way, but I bet you could even use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy.
- Oreo Peanut Butter Fudge: Mix in 1 cup of coarsely chopped up Oreos for a peanut butter cookie crunch fudge!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge: Make a batch of peanut butter fudge, then a batch of my creamy chocolate fudge and layer or swirl them together in the same pan! You would want to go with a 9x13" pan if taking this approach.
- White Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge: Make this white chocolate fudge (just leave out the cranberries and pecans) and layer or swirl it with the peanut butter fudge.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Fudge: This is next on my list to try, but I'm thinking you could use about ¾ to 1 cup of your favorite raspberry or strawberry jam and layer or swirl it with a batch of this peanut butter fudge. I would try making the fudge, then spreading half of it into a prepared pan and swirling with half of the jam, then adding the remaining fudge and jam on top and swirling again to make sure it's evenly mixed for both flavors in every piece.
More Favorite Fudge Recipes
- Creamy Easy Chocolate Fudge
- White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Fudge
- Rocky Road Fudge
- Chocolate Walnut Fudge
- Oatmeal Fudge Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought with a comment and star rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Easy Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge
- 2 cups brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted to break up clumps
- Line an 8x8-inch pan with a parchment paper or aluminum foil sling for easy removal and cutting once the fudge is set. If using aluminum foil, be sure to butter it so the fudge will come off easily.
- Combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring frequently until the brown sugar and butter dissolve and the mixture comes to a boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and combined.
- Add the powdered sugar to a large, heat-safe bowl, then pour the hot peanut butter mixture over it. Beat together with a hand mixer until combined and there are no lumps of powdered sugar remaining, then transfer the fudge to the prepared pan. Let set at room temperature for about 3 hours until set up before slicing into squares.
- Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 1 week.